\ ˈshrimp How to pronounce shrimp (audio) , especially Southern ˈsrimp \
plural shrimp or shrimps

Definition of shrimp

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of numerous mostly small and marine decapod crustaceans (suborders Dendrobranchiata and Pleocyemata) having a slender elongated body, a compressed abdomen, and a long spiny rostrum and including some (especially family Penaeidae) that are commercially important as food also : a small crustacean (such as an amphipod or a branchiopod) resembling the true shrimp
2 usually disparaging : a very small or puny person or thing


shrimped; shrimping; shrimps

Definition of shrimp (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to fish for or catch shrimp

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Other Words from shrimp


shrimplike \ ˈshrimp-​ˌlīk How to pronounce shrimp (audio) , ˈsrimp-​ \ adjective
shrimpy \ ˈshrim-​pē How to pronounce shrimp (audio) , ˈsrim-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for shrimp

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of shrimp in a Sentence

Noun He's a little shrimp of a boy. the boy was just a shrimp until his teens, when he had a growth spurt
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For now, the restaurant is offering a limited menu of all-day breakfast, plus Carter’s signature shrimp and grits. Christina Tkacik,, 15 Oct. 2021 Since so many of our dishes do have that spicy-numbness, this one has good nutrition, with shrimp and egg yolk. Amy Drew Thompson,, 14 Oct. 2021 The palabok fiesta is a traditional Filipino noodle dish doused in garlic sauce, sautéed pork, shrimp and egg. Phillip Valys,, 13 Oct. 2021 Sapelo Island clams, fresh Atlantic shrimp and produce like okra and peaches on a menu that reads more Italian than Southern. New York Times, 12 Oct. 2021 The former Benny’s Chop House space now serves up stylish vibes alongside shrimp and grits with lobster ($51), plus a special chicken and Moet Champagne dinner ($199). Louisa Chu,, 8 Oct. 2021 Non-rice components, like squeaky shiitake mushrooms, whole shrimp and octopus, dotted the pan, just enough to complement the rice and not cover it. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, 8 Oct. 2021 Rabbit, lamb, shrimp and sea snail are just some of the main ingredients on the tasting menu; the assortment of fresh vegetables, pastes, spices and salsa accompanying them is just as unique. Shelby Knick, Forbes, 6 Oct. 2021 Some diners might feel silly ordering Prawn to Be Wild — with shrimp and hot peppers — or Pizza of Brotherly Love, a Philly cheese steak on a pizza crust. Susan Dunne,, 24 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Add tomatoes, zucchini, bell pepper and shrimp to the mixture. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 21 July 2021 Transfer the couscous and shrimp to a serving dish. Star Tribune, 23 Apr. 2021 Each dish on the menu is inspired by the comfort food of the youth that have gone through the cafe’s training program, homey dishes like shrimp and grits, sweet potato pie and peanut butter stew. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, 1 Oct. 2021 Brunchaholics owner Jessie Washington plans to open a permanent brunch-themed restaurant in Dallas in late 2021 after serving his popular soul-food burritos and shrimp and grits at pop-ups around Dallas for three years. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, 25 Aug. 2021 At Post + Beam, Armstrong had gumbo nights with crawfish gumbo, blue crab gumbo, shrimp-and-okra gumbo and other variations. Andy Wang, Robb Report, 25 Aug. 2021 On the weekends, customers can look forward to dishes like shrimp and grits and brisket sandwiches. Tirion Morris, The Arizona Republic, 16 Aug. 2021 Bigger chunks, irregularly shaped ingredients like shrimp or delicate things such as tofu can benefit from using two parallel skewers, which keep the tidbits from rotating when turning. Melissa Clark, New York Times, 23 July 2021 The shrimp-and-corn chowder does well, but that’s cream-based. Amy Drew Thompson,, 22 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shrimp.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of shrimp


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1808, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shrimp


Middle English shrimpe; akin to Middle Low German schrempen to contract, wrinkle, Old Norse skorpna to shrivel up

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Time Traveler for shrimp

Time Traveler

The first known use of shrimp was in the 14th century

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Statistics for shrimp

Last Updated

21 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shrimp.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for shrimp



English Language Learners Definition of shrimp

: a small shellfish that has a long body and legs and that is eaten as food
: a very small or unimportant person


\ ˈshrimp How to pronounce shrimp (audio) \

Kids Definition of shrimp

1 : a small shellfish of the sea that is related to the crabs and lobsters and is often used for food
2 : a very small or unimportant person or thing

More from Merriam-Webster on shrimp

Nglish: Translation of shrimp for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shrimp for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about shrimp


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